The secrets to the Giants' even-year success? Kids, quakes and bearded closers

BREAKING NEWS! The San Francisco Giants win the World Series every even-numbered year! Yes, it's true. They won championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014 -- while missing the playoffs completely in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Amazing, isn't it? San Francisco's World Series championships are entirely tied to even-numbered years! In odd-numbered years, they're odd men out.

"I have never heard that before,'' said Giants catcher Buster Posey, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "But I'm glad that we're talking about it. It means we've won the World Series every other year for the last six. So I would rather be talking about that than not.

"But I don't think there is a particular reason. If we knew what it was, we would do it every year.''

There must be some reason for such a streak, right? It can't be all coincidence, can it?

"I think there is a little something to it,'' shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "You have a short offseason after the World Series, and we've had some injuries during the years after we won the World Series. So the next year, we come back a little bit more refreshed and able to get through the whole year.

"But I don't think it really matters what year it is.''

Oh, but it does. As Giants fans know very well, the even number means everything. Here is why that is the case, and more importantly, what the Giants must do this year to keep their even-numbered mojo alive.


So if San Francisco wins the World Series in even-numbered years, then how come it lost in 2002 and 1962? The answer requires a more intensive examination of the numbers.

If you add up the digits in 2010, 2012 and 2014, each year results in an odd number (3 for 2010, 5 for 2012 and 7 for 2014). But 2002 and 1962 add up to even numbers (4 and 18). So to win a World Series, San Francisco has to not only play in an even-numbered year, that year must also add up to an odd number. When informed of this, Crawford replied, "There are advanced analytics in that.''

The good news for Crawford and his teammates? Those analytics reveal that the Giants will win the World Series this year and 2018. But after that? Not until 2030.

Still, it's better than Cubs, Mariners, Padres, Brewers and Cleveland fans can expect.


Another reason the Giants started winning World Series titles in 2010? Former Journey frontman Steve Perry.

Perry is a diehard Giants fan whose 1981 hit, "Don't Stop Believing,'' became a late-inning tradition at many ballparks after the White Sox played it regularly during their 2005 World Series run. The Giants picked it up in the fall of 2010, and Perry frequently sang along with the crowd as they watched San Francisco finally win a World Series.

Perry reportedly will release an album this year -- which is just one omen that bodes well for the Giants, especially if it includes a new version of "Don't Stop Believin.'''

Just a San Francisco girl
Livin' in an expensive world
She took Uber goin' to AT&T

Just a Daly City boy
Born and raised in the South Bay
He kayaked goin' to McCovey Cove

Bumgarner on the mound
A smell of batters peeing their pants
Another at-bat, their OPS drop out of sight

MadBum pounds the glove on and on and on and on ...

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Cuz it's an even-numbered year ...


Crawford's two daughters, Braylyn and Jaydyn, were born in the World Series years of 2012 and 2014, respectively. Braylyn celebrated with her dad on the field after the Giants clinched in Kansas City. Crawford and his wife, Jalynne, welcomed a son, Braxton, in January. So third time's a good luck charm, right?

"A lot of people will tell you that, but I don't believe any of that,'' Giants pitcher Jake Peavy said. "We'll have to figure out a way to get into the playoffs, which is never easy, and once you're in, you have to figure out a way to win 11 games, which is harder than it seems. That said, we've got a number of guys who've been down that road before and know how to get it done. And we're going to exhaust every option in this clubhouse to do that.''

Still, the Crawford kids are clearly a better clubhouse charm than, say, Adam LaRoche and his son, Drake. LaRoche never played on a team that won a postseason series during his 12-year career.


Speaking of offspring, the TV series "Parenthood'' -- about the multiple generations of the fictional Braverman family -- was set in the Bay Area. Its first season aired in 2010 and its last season in the fall of 2014. Coincidence? The Bravermans were avid baseball fans, so much so that the series finale centered on a family baseball game. While most of the clan rooted for the Athletics, all those Giants world championships came during the show's run. So fans must be hoping those reunion rumors are real -- or maybe they should simply stream it nonstop on Netflix this season.


The Giants won the 2012 World Series after right fielder Hunter Pence inspired them with a rousing pregame speech during the division series. They won the 2014 World Series in a season that was filled with opposing fans holding up signs making fun of -- or having fun with -- Pence. Among them: "Hunter Pence Picks the Hamburger in the Hot Dog Race,'' "Hunter Pence Brings 15 Items to the Express Lane,'' "Hunter Pence Thinks 'Game of Thrones' Is Just OK'' and "Hunter Pence Thinks Kansas City is in Kansas.''

So what kind of stunt will Pence stage in 2016? The outfielder declined to talk about the even-numbered issue, instead saying, "Every moment is crazy and weird. The past is in the past forever. Today is a new day.''

Maybe what the Giants need is for someone to hold up a series of Pence-related cue cards in front of the dugout to inspire the players and amuse the fans:

Hunter Pence Thinks Clayton Kershaw Is Just OK, So You Can Take Him Deep.

Hunter Pence says "Bring 13 Items to the Express Line and Your 'A Game' to the Plate, the Mound and the Field.''

Hunter Pence Picks the Giant in the Hot Dog Race ... and in the NL West Race.

Hunter Pence Says 2010, 2012 and 2014 Are in the Past Forever. And That 2016 Is a New Year. And That It Is an Even Year. So Plan to Spend All October at AT&T Park, Not Hawaii.

Hunter Pence Doesn't Think the 2016 World Series Trophy Will Be in San Francisco, He KNOWS It Will Be.


Closer Brian Wilson finished out the final inning of the 2010 World Series with his then-outlandish beard, a look that inspired both an MLB ad and an ESPN "This is SportsCenter" commercial. Sergio Romo, equally hirsute, closed out the 2012 World Series. And the bearded Bumgarner pitched the final innings of the 2014 World Series.

"We did have some guys grow their facial hair out, and in 2014, we did have some guys growing long hair," Peavy said. "But that stuff just shows some team unity and that guys are in it together and that we're playing for each other out there. I don't think any of that stuff has to do with getting Eric Hosmer out.''

Still, it probably wouldn't hurt to make sure Santiago Casilla doesn't shave until November or to keep Bumgarner available to come out of the pen again.


Bumgarner is 4-0 with a 0.25 ERA during San Francisco's three World Series championship runs, allowing just one run and 14 hits while striking out 31 in 36 innings. That includes a Game 5 shutout in 2014, followed by five scoreless innings in relief just three days later in Game 7. So perhaps the Giants should have him start and relieve throughout the whole season.

It might not hurt to have him pinch-hit, too. Bumgarner has 11 career home runs.

Yeah, that could really tire MadBum out. But don't worry, the Giants can give his legs a bit of a rest. Just let him ride his horse to the mound.


The then-New York Giants won 96 games in 1906, which is more than they won in 2010, 2012 or 2014. Yet they did not get to the World Series that year. It wasn't just because the Cubs won 116 games; it was also the same year as the infamous 1906 San Francisco earthquake. And as the 1989 World Series showed, the Giants do not win when there is a major seismic activity in San Francisco.

So no fracking!


Sure, World Series vets Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval are gone, but regular-season and World Series MVPs Posey and Bumgarner remain. The key is those two avoiding injury. After the Giants won the 2010 World Series, Posey broke his leg and missed most of the 2011 season. After the Giants won the 2012 World Series, Angel Pagan missed much of the 2013 season with injuries. After the Giants won the 2014 World Series, Pence missed much of the 2015 season with several injuries.

So stay healthy, my friends. We'll see you in October.